Thursday, June 29, 2006

NBA Draft

This is the draft that got killed by the new NBA age restriction. Out goes No. 1 pick Greg Oden, who will play one year at Ohio State and be the top pick in 2007, and a bunch of other great high school players, and instead guys like Andrea Bargnani get to be the No. 1 guy. I think Bargnani may be Italian for Olowokandi.

NO. 1 PICK: Andrea Bargnani (Italy-F): The 20-year old may be a decent player, even right from the start, but there wasn’t a lot of value in that first pick and I wouldn’t bet on Bargnani becoming a Nowitzki-level star. Fine as a No. 4 pick, but probably not as a No. 1.

TWO BEST PICKS: I love Brandon Roy getting to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who swapped picks from No. 7 to No. 6. Roy should be fantastic.

As for the second best, I guess I have to go with Marcus Williams (UConn-PG) who went No. 22 to New Jersey. He’s been getting comparisons to Mark Jackson, but he showed up out of shape for his team workouts along with having some, um, computer problems. For more, check out below. Still, good value and this will be the Warren Sapp/Randy Moss pick where he may have issues and he may have made mistakes, but I’m willing to bet he’ll learn under Jason Kidd and become a strong player.

MORE ON MARCUS WILLIAMS: I really liked what Bill Simmons had to say about him in his draft preview Wednesday: Unfortunately, he has a few things working against him: the incredible laptop scandal (Red Flag No. 1); UConn's stunning exit in the NCAAs (Red Flag No. 2); the whole "I have no problem being overweight and out-of-shape for these pre-draft workouts" (Red Flag No. 3); major questions about his outside shot (Red Flag No. 4); his defensive ability (Red Flag No. 5); and his attitude (Red Flag No. 6). In other words, just call him Six Flags. I can't imagine the Celtics taking him after finally assembling a team of good chemistry guys after the Davis/Blount trade.

WORST PICK: The Seattle SuperSonics took center Saer Sene of Senegal with the No. 10 pick. He has something like a 8-foot wing span, but apparently can’t even do a lay up drill. Yeah, that’s what you’re looking for in the lottery.

BEST TRADE: The Bulls traded down from No. 2 to No. 4 with Portland and still got the player they wanted (Tyrus Thomas-LSU-F). They didn’t get a lot in the deal (Victor Krupkahasdkuyasddfasdf and future considerations), but it’s more than they would have gotten if they took Thomas at No. 2.

WORST TRADE: Boston trades the No. 7 pick to Portland for Sebastian Telfair. Now, we all know how much I liked Through the Fire, the documentary about Telfair’s senior year of high school, but I would have much preferred to have Randy Foye (Villanova-G) who was chosen with the No. 7 pick. Foye isn't a true point guard, but he's got super upside. But hey, the Celtics have been so right on over the years, who am I to question them? Yeah, right.

2007 ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Adam Morrison (Gonzaga-F) will shoot the lights out for Charlotte, which took him with the No. 3 overall pick. His defense sucks right now, but he’ll be a big impact for that team right from the start. He also gets bonus points for having an AWESOME new commercial for NBA Live.

FUTURE MVP: None. I don’t think there’s a single future NBA MVP in this draft. Those awards will be taken up by the LeBrons, Wades, Pauls, Bryants and maybe Anthonys and Howards over the next 12 years. If you made me pick one, I’d say either Foye or Brandon Roy. Oy.

SAD FACT: It took just 13 picks for someone to be chosen who I’d absolutely never heard of. Thabo Sefolosha from Switzerland went to the 76ers (for the Bulls). Um, great.

SECOND ROUND GEM?: Daniel Gibson No. 42 to Cleveland. He’s going to be a solid player, but he has work to do. He should have stayed another year in school, but I like his chances of sticking around.

NOTES: As for the TV coverage, Jay Bilas is fantastic, but I can’t stand Stephen A. Smith. His screamin’ is givin’ me a headachin’. … You have to love the 1980s style of fan attending the NBA Draft live. Bargnani is foreign, BOOO! He’s from a country other than USA, BOOO! What year are we in, again? … Bulls took LaMarcus Aldridge (Texas-F) for Blazers at No. 2. Portland police department joins Aldridge on the stage to arrest him for future drug usage. … You have to love that ESPN spelled the NBA Finals MVP’s name wrong in a graphic. … Am I old because I had never heard of the term “off the bounce” before Wednesday night? Or did Bilas make it up? … Rudy Gay’s (UConn-F) watch was PHENOMENAL. Big, gold and red. Wow. … I couldn’t even remotely keep up with all the damn trades the Blazers made. This is like when Jimmy Johnson was coach the Dallas Cowboys and would make 11 trades and stockpile NFL draft picks. … Is Golden State still in the NBA? Who would have known. They are the equivalent of a bad National League baseball team: T.E.R.R.I.B.L.E. … If Patrick O’Bryant (Bradley-C) isn’t the perfect pick for the Warriors, I can’t imagine who is. Will we ever hear of O’Bryant again? … Wow, J.J. Redick (Duke-G) went to Orlando at No. 11. I really expected him to go later that that. Dick Vitale pretty much crapped his pants after that. Although, Redick with Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard (and hopefully Grant Hill) could be interesting. … Marcus Williams was the third Husky taken in the draft and I’ll be shocked if he isn’t the best pro of the group. … The back and forth between Dan Patrick and David Stern was more PHENOMENAL than Gay’s watch. “I always like Paul Tagliabue better than you.” … Shocking that the New York crowd booed the bejesus out of Isiah Thomas. … Josh Boone (UConn-F) sucks. He’ll go to New Jersey with laptop boy. … Maurice Ager (Michigan State-G) probably had the best reaction of the day when Dallas took him with the No. 28 pick. I’m a big Ager fan now. … I really like Mardy Collins (Temple-G) but I don’t see how he fits with the New York Knicks. How many of those guys do they have? They have to be moving some of them, right? Right? RIGHT?

FINAL WORD: The NFL Draft is far more fun than the NBA Draft. The only thing that the basketball event has over the football one is that the teams have just five minutes between picks in the first round. The NFL should drop from 15 minutes to at least 10. There’s no reason the teams need 15 minutes between picks in the first round. As long as Mike Tice doesn’t get another head coaching job.

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